"El edificio se va a caer."

Translation:The building is going to fall.

July 16, 2013



why is se needed in this sentance

November 22, 2013


Caer by itself is usually used when something falls. When raindrops fall, when teeth fall out, etc.

Caerse is more like to fall down or to fall over.

One interesting thing about Spanish is that when you drop something, you say "Se me cayó..." which literally translated would mean "it fell itself from me". But that's how they say it. More blame on the object and less personal guilt ;)

January 3, 2014


Sounds like corporate apologies :-)

May 17, 2014


Well, we say "Se me ha caído" when it fall by accident. If I drop it I'll say "Lo he tirado" They are two things completely different ;-)

June 5, 2015


Oh, good point! "Lo he tirado" is to drop on purpose, like dropping a dirty shirt into a basket. Is that correct?

June 5, 2015


That's right ;-)

June 6, 2015


I sort of remember this construction from high school, but would it also be acceptable to say "va a caerse"?

March 5, 2015


Yes, attaching the "se" to the end of the infinitive like you did is acceptable.

March 26, 2015



April 4, 2017


If it's to fall over, then why wouldn't "the building will collapse" be a good translation?

April 20, 2017


The reflexive form is used when there is an actual object falling.

  • El edificio va a caerse. - The building is going to collapse.

In contrast, the simple form is used when the falling is figurative.

  • La tasa de interés cae cada año. - The interest rate drops every year.
January 18, 2014


Your examples are correct in their usage, but your reasoning is incomplete. As mentioned above, the reflexive form means "to fall down" (i.e. to topple, to collapse), the simple form means "to fall" (i.e. to plummet).

September 21, 2014


Interested in this issue, I looked up many online discussions on the topic, and I must say, the answers are very unsatisfactory, with almost every person having their own ideas how those are separated. Frustrated, I simply went straight to the primary source, which is, of course, Real Academia Espanola:


And this is what we find -- whenever you use "caerse", you can use "caer" instead, but not the opposite, that is, "caerse" only covers a subset of all the possible meanings of "caer" (1, 2, 3 and 5 in the given link); it is more specific, and concerns itself only with physical objects falling.

With this in mind I'm confident to say that I was not wrong, but not exactly right either. When you talk about moving down due to gravity, both "caer" and "caerse" are correct. However, when you talk about abstract things and decrease in quantity, only "caer" and not "caerse" may be used.

Sorry for editing over my previous response, but I felt that this was much more correct and precise as I did more research on the topic, and thus more valuable.

September 21, 2014


Ah, I see what you mean. And no need to apologize, it's better to edit out our mistakes so that newcomers aren't confused. I have also edited my post.

September 21, 2014


So, I looked at your RAE link and am sad to say that it's not quite that simple. I'm sad because I was hoping it would be.

Alas, item #29, for example, relates only to the pronominal form. Also, a number of verbals that use caerse are clearly figurative and one is even a colloquialism.

I do get your main point, however, and it seems a good rule of thumb for all but a few exceptions. I commend you for taking the time to research and report what you learned here.

May 30, 2018


I think the better question is why do we need this sentence? LOL Maybe, we are speaking of the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

April 9, 2015


Today is September 11. I live in New York City. This sentence makes me think of something else.

September 11, 2015


Remember the day well. RIP all you innocent people.

August 25, 2016


My condolences ~r

January 23, 2016


This is translated as "The building is going to fall" (rather than "The building is going to collapse"). As a native English speaker, I would only say "The building is going to fall" if it were, for example, on the edge of a cliff and the cliff was crumbling away underneath it. (I am from California, where this scenario actually happens along the coast). Otherwise, I would use "collapse".

July 16, 2013


In Spanish is common to hear people using "caer" in this context, but I think like you, "collapse" (derrumbar) seems more appropriate: El edificio se va a derrumbar = The building is going to collapse. Just saying, in case you wanted a better translation for that ;]

July 16, 2013


Yeah i'm a spanish speaker and it is more appropiate.

February 22, 2016


Interesting. Because I too am a native english speaker and I'd be WAY more likely to say "the building is going to fall down", might say "the building is going to fall", and fairly unlikely to say "the building is going to collapse"!

It's always so interesting to see what different people think of as the common way to say something because it can vary so much! :)

October 16, 2013


"The building is going to fall down" sounds better that what Duolingo give I think.

July 17, 2013


I put "The building is going to fall down" and it was accepted as correct. 3 Jan 2013. So maybe it has been reported and updated.

January 3, 2014


Yes collapse should be accepted.

February 21, 2016


I imagine a video game where somebody is trying to destroy a building and the destroyer says "The building is going to fall" ... so for anybody doing mischief, there you go

September 25, 2013


I couldn't agree more, dosgardenias, but DL doesn't: "collapse" was rejected (19/08/16). I can't imagine why. Have reported it, for what that's worth ...

August 19, 2016


Why not fall over?

April 26, 2015


I had the same question, I suppose it's because most buildings wouldn't really fall "over", they would collapse in mostly the same area. That's still a pretty minor thing though, in my opinion.

December 22, 2016


Why is "The building is going to fall over" incorrect?

September 9, 2015


The building is going to collapse, why is it wrong?

March 23, 2014


It's mentioned above that there's a true word for "to collapse" in Spanish, "caerse" is simply "to fall".

April 10, 2014


Yes, but "collapse" is the word that would be used by natives (as mentioned in this thread) as "a falling building" (from the sky?) doesn't make much sense, so I think it should be accepted (still not accepted as of 30/04/2015).

April 30, 2015


Well.. I'm a native speaker of English, and I find both "collapse" and "fall" acceptable, however, my point was that "collapse" is not the proper translation of "caerse". You can still report it though, Duo may decide to later accept it.

May 5, 2015


Why not "the building is going to fall over" ?

September 7, 2015


"Edifice" should also be accepted as a translation for "edificio" since an edifice is a building.

April 12, 2016


I wrote: The building is going to fall down, and DL accepted. FYI

September 19, 2013


Does anyone can explain why the "se" appears here?

December 28, 2013


Asked and answered.

January 3, 2014


I saw the discussion on caer and caerse but it doesn't explain why the se is needed in this sentence. So I am still curious too.

May 5, 2015


When you use caerse instead of caer, you are emphasizing the accidental nature of the fall. http://spanish.about.com/od/verbs/a/caer-vs-caerse.htm

Caution: Do not confuse the accidental emphasis of caerse with the accidental se, as in: 'se me caen las llaves' = 'my keys fell on me' (think in terms of... my car broke down on me.) I mention this because caerse is often used with the accidental se (also called no fault se.)

When you use caer instead of caerse, you "can emphasize either the point of departure or arrival: el meteoro cayó del cielo 'the meteor fell from the sky', el tigre cayó sobre su presa 'the tiger fell on its prey', el avión cayó aquí 'the plane fell here'." However, "It is also used when the point of departure is taken for granted: caía una lluvia fuerte 'heavy rain was falling'." (A new Reference Grammar of Modern Spanish 4th ed. p.378) So, according to this book, you can use caer to emphasize the departure or arrival point of the falling thing, or you can use it when the departure or arrival point is taken for granted. Lol, it hurts my brain. This book also lists some idiomatic uses, which i will only type out upon request.

I mostly think the difference is emphasis, and that emphasis must be hard to explain because if you search for caer vs. caerse, you will find a lot of varying opinions.

Here are two rabbit holes for you to explore:

July 22, 2015


Oh, come on! 'The building is going to fall down is acceptable' BUT 'The building's going to fall down is wrong' ??!!

March 23, 2016


why is "the building it's going to COLLAPSE" wrong?

April 17, 2016


Collapse needs to be corrected here.

July 3, 2016


I understand caerse but why is se in front of va? We are using ir + infinitive, so why not va caerse?

October 6, 2016


You can say it either way. Both "se va a caer" and "va a caerse" are acceptable grammatically.

December 5, 2016


Bush did it.

May 29, 2017


im mexican this is so right

November 14, 2017



November 16, 2017


I accidentally put "the building falls" instead of "the building is going to fall" because I read it too fast, but when it told me I was wrong, it told me that the correct translation was "the building's fall." I don't understand; that doesn't seem right at all.

April 6, 2018


BP39 is our club code! It is lots of fun! Please join! Hope I see you soon in our cub!

April 11, 2018


Is "El edificio se va a caer" the same as "El edificio va a caerse"?

May 1, 2018


Yes, both are acceptable and mean exactly the same thing.

May 30, 2018


In English you can say "The building'll fall"

May 29, 2018


Millennium Tower, San Francisco.

February 7, 2019


When is caer reflexive?

July 21, 2019


It isn't reflexive. It's pronominal. The pronominal form is just a little more emphatic or complete. Some have suggested it's like the difference between "fall" (caer ) and "collapse" (caerse ), which I think is a good way to think about it in this sentence.

July 21, 2019


I still don't understand why you need "se"

July 21, 2019


I think we don't always use se with caer but only at times when it is accidental instead of deliberate. But how are we to know that is the meaning intended?

July 21, 2019


No, it's not really about intentionality. As I said, the pronominal form just adds a little more emphasis. You see the same thing with other verbs like "sentar " and "comer."

July 21, 2019


It isn't needed. It's a choice by Duo to demonstrate the use. The English sentence is pretty simple and straightforward enough to be expressed with "caer."

July 21, 2019
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